The Night Tom Wilson and John Erskine Blew the Roof Off of Verizon Center

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

After news broke Friday night that the Capitals re-signed Tom Wilson for six more seasons, I began to think about a few of my favorite Wilson scraps during his first contract with the Capitals. I didn’t have to think long before I stopped on a favorite, a tandem gem with John Erskine.  

In the second period of a 1-1 game against the Maple Leafs on January 10th, 2014, Tom Wilson and John Erskine would drop the mitts in successive fights, driving the Verizon faithful into a tremendous frenetic frenzy.

I happened to be in the building that night, and will never forget the energy that exploded in a total of 5 seconds of actual game time. It was a legendary fight card in this fan’s opinion.

19-year-old rookie Tom Wilson would get things started in a spirited bout with the Leafs Carter Ashton.

But things were just heating up. John Erskine wasted no time following Wilson’s scrap, dropping the gloves with notorious league tough-guy Colton Orr. Capitals announcer Joe Beninati would quickly label the second bout “Heavy-Heavy….heavy-heavy”. He nailed it. “Here come the jackhammers!”

As Capitals announcer Joe Beninati put it, “Wilson and Ashton was the appetizer, that was the entre’”. No better way to say it.

If you were there that night, how does it rank in your Wilson and Erskine fight rankings? What is your favorite Wilson bout, so far? Comment below.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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8 Responses to The Night Tom Wilson and John Erskine Blew the Roof Off of Verizon Center

  1. DayOne Caps Fanatic says:

    All sorts of high-dollar contracts and trades have been flying around DC-Balto last few weeks. The guy who most deserves his raise is Tom Wilson. Kills penalties, kills opponents. Fights and intimidates. Scores some key goals. Keeps opponents away from goalies. And did I mention he intimidates? All the ESPN weenie-class “sportscasters” pooh-pooh-ing Wilson’s contract. I say POO to ESPN for dissing the NHL. Other networks are raking in the billions for the feisty NHL while ESPN lays off and downsizes. Only politically-correct sporties will do at ESPN. No fighting. ladies! Actually I think the Caps could use another thumper on the Fourth Line. Buttman hates NHL honor but it wins playoff series. Get rid of the effeminate “Instigator” rules while you’re at it

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I say poo as well. Wilson has the ability to change the dynamic of any game. He was huge in the first two rounds, disrupting Blue Jackets and Penguins games.

      • CJ says:

        I actually think he was a force in all 4 rounds. Games 6 and 7 it only he, but the entire forward crew made the TBL defenders afraid and throw passes away instead of allowing them to break out the puck cleanly.

        Then against Vegas, I think the fights he DIDN’T take were huge. The Vegas baddies (Reaves, et al.) kept trying to goad him but he didn’t bite. 2 years ago he doesn’t even hesitate to drop the mits.

        I like this contract. I don’t think we’ve seen his ceiling yet.

  2. Alpca3877 says:

    I miss Big John!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Adam Oates. Great player-shitty coach

  4. Zach says:

    Before, Erskine wanted to go after Phaneuf over something Phaneuf did. Phaneuf said no. And was booed the rest of the night. Whenever Phaneuf was in by us, we are on the glass in the Yellow 8, we would call him a fairy. There was a faceoff and he was really close and were really getting on his case and he mouthed “Fuck Off” and we could not stop laughing. Oh it was great.

  5. Pingback: Tom Wilson Determined To Make a Difference After Signing Long-Term With Capitals | NoVa Caps

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